Fabien Hyon, a unique but grounded singer

It is reassuring to meet the tenor Fabien Hyon: at long last a singer who does not ‘act as a singer’ talking and laughing very loudly, and who, as a tenor, does not see himself as the next Pavarotti! On the contrary he readily opts for a novel approach at his discretion and depending on whom he meets along the way. 

As a child, Fabien saw himself as more of an actor than a singer. With his Baccalaureate under his belt, he intended to go into teaching, following in the footsteps of his parents, and studied English at university in Clermont-Ferrand. He also trained as a singer at the CRR, This was more about ‘finding something to do on Wednesday afternoons’: a hobby that rapidly took precedence over everything else, having fallen in love with the idea of being a professional opera singer, enabling him to combine his love of theatre, lyrics and music. Various courses he attended led by Isabelle Germain showed him ‘the importance of lyrics, and the body and mind being fully engaged in singing’. Then his time at the CNSM in Paris proved to be decisive in terms of the quality and diversity of the teaching, as well as the likeminded artistic friends he made. 

He has since been awarded ‘Révélation Classique de l’ADAMI’ in 2015, HSBC Laureate of Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2017 and has taken advanced classes at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. He enjoys a range of musical experiences as an artist not content with one single genre or style, enjoying the stage, but also the discipline required for recitals and concerts. 

He has a beauty of tone as a tenor, not soft but on the contrary quite fleshy, surprisingly grounded in the medium displaying sensitive musicality, paying   great attention to the text with a charming yet serious presence. He has a unique profile, one that is neither French Baroque haute-contre or the light tenor observed in comic opera, or even a Rossini tenor with roulades and shrills. This makes him hard to categorise, in an era of moulding into shape at all costs. 

His journey to opera thus far has been quite unique. Pared down versions of some major roles (Tamino, Don José and more recently Erik in The Phantom Ship) have been tackled, in parallel with forays into Offenbach’s operetta, musicals (West Side StoryCandide) and Baroque opera (Neron in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and coming soon Didon and Aeneas by Purcell and Erismena by Cavalli). Until now he has undoubtedly made his mark notably in contemporary opera. Again at the CNSM, he had the good fortune to meet Noël Lee – shortly before his death in fact – singing the melody for La lune blanche. He recently repeated this experience of working with a composer on the Argentinian Daniel D’Adamo’s Kamchatka, Jules Matton’s Odyssey performed last April in Compiègne and again in December in Lille – and at the moment, Michèle Reverdy’s Ombres du Minotaure that will be performed in January. 

He will be performing Tamino at the Opéra de Rennes in March. 

‘Fabien Hyon – a tenor? As Sarastro quite rightly said of Tamino, ‘He’s much more than that: he’s a man!’ 

Terence’s famous quote describes him well: 

I am a man, and nothing human is foreign to me. His commitment to the charity Music’O Seniors, that introduces opera to hospitals – and very recently, prisons– vouches for this, helping to ‘raise awareness about why we do this job’.

Thierry Guyenne